This is our call to Government to invest in our young people.
Young people aren’t on the National Agenda.
We don’t have a Federal Minister for Youth.
We don’t have a funded National Peak body.
Decision makers need to understand the real impact and significance of youth work, and the role youth workers play in the lives of young people.
Government often value proving outcomes based on numbers, which are hard to generate when it’s about a relationship. Reporting based on restrictive quantitative requirements that reduce young people to tick boxes fails to capture the significance and the complexity of youth work.
Without the support or youth work and early intervention, many young people end up intersecting with the justice system to great societal and financial cost.
Stories are a way to provide greater scope for services to capture and report on the qualitative outcomes of youth work. They help us understand the meaning. Whilst we need data, the story is data. It’s important in the way we understand the actual change, not just how much has changed.
We know it’s cheaper to pay for youth workers time than a police officer’s time.
If we can start to shift that investment into earlier intervention we can save lives. We can reduce the amount of young people in detention. We can reduce the number of young people in out-of-home care. Most importantly, we can prevent youth suicide.